The Origins of The Coffee Bean

A lot of people drink coffee to start their day. It’s a routine that many people have, and it has been for centuries. But where did the tradition come from? How was the coffee bean first discovered?

This blog post will explore the origins of the coffee bean so that next time you can impress all your friends as the coffee nerd that you are!

How The Coffee Bean Was Discovered

The Origins of The Coffee Bean

The coffee bean is said to have been discovered around 850AD by a goat herder called Kaldi in Ethiopia. A legend says that he noticed his goats acting weirdly, jumping about, and generally being very jolly after eating some dark red berries.

After trying them himself, he too felt an intense buzz and started to run around in a frenzy! This, however, is only a legend.

Recent research has shown that coffee actually came from East Africa and not exclusively Ethiopia. The first recorded mention of coffee was found on clay tablets written by an Arabian scholar in the 13th century Yemen who noted its use as a social drink.

The discovery of these clay tablets led researchers to believe that it is possible that trade routes may have played a role in disseminating this new beverage across Africa and into Asia, eventually making its way to Europe where Europeans added sugar and milk to make their own versions, as we all know and love them today!

What Exactly Is A Coffee Bean?

The Origins of The Coffee Bean

We all know the basics of what coffee is, but do you know what a coffee bean is? The coffee beans we drink every day come from the ground up and roasted seeds that grow on a small tree, the so-called Coffea plant.

Coffee beans are also called “cherries” and they grow in bunches of about 20 to 50 on each branch of the tree. As long as there’s enough water and nutrients for them, they’ll continue to grow. If your plant gets too much water or not enough light, it will die. Luckily for us, this doesn’t happen often because these trees can live more than 30 years!

From Coffee Bean to Coffee Beverage

Most of us have never visited a coffee farm, but if we did we’d quickly realize that raw coffee beans don’t have that deep brown color we know so well. They are actually green! That’s why raw coffee is often called green coffee as well.

A word of advice here, don’t try to brew raw coffee beans, they are going to taste very grassy and earthy. Not fun!

But how do these green coffee beans end up in your cup with an amazing flavor and engulfing aroma? Well, they go through a few stages first!

Stage 1: Harvesting and Processing

The best way for farmers to get those tasty little treats off the tree is by picking them one at a time with their hands or using scissors to cut them off. Once they’re picked, it’s time to separate the beans from all of that excess fruit around them.

This part is pretty simple: they just let the coffee cherries sit in water so they can ferment and break down their fleshy insides while they wait for the seeds inside to dry out a bit on some screens or in some boxes.

Once the cherries are completely dry, it’s time to pop out those beans! The seeds are either mechanically de-pulped using a machine like this one or they’re de-pulped by hand (which is much more time-consuming).

To make sure they actually end up with coffee beans and not just broken pieces of the coffee cherries, the farmers have to separate them with a machine that basically shakes and sifts them around until only one thing is left: your coffee beans!

From here on out, the processing depends on whether the farmers are producing caffeinated or decaf coffee. If we are talking about caffeinated coffee then the next step is to roast the beans.

When it comes to decaf, the beans go through a process called “ethyl acetate” where they’re soaked in it and this helps remove some of the caffeine. Once that’s done, they do one more dry and roast them!

Stage 2: Roasting

So you thought that the only thing coffee roasters did was roast beans for your morning cup of joe, but there’s so much more to it than just that. Coffee roasting is incredibly complex and requires skill, precision, passion, and knowledge of chemistry.

Coffee roasting is a process that transforms raw coffee beans into the flavorful, aromatic roasted coffee we all know and love. It’s an art form that requires skill and precision to do it just right! I’ll take you through what goes into this process:

-First, the roasters need to decide how dark the beans will be roasted. Light roasts are typically used for coffees that are meant to be sweet and acidic like some Central American, Ethiopian, or Kenyan origin beans.

Full origin roasts are used for coffees that are meant to be chocolatey, nutty, or caramelly like some South American origin beans. When the coffee is ready to roast again, it’s called the second origin.

-Coffee beans will go through the first stage of the roast when it’s heated at a low temperature for a long amount of time. During this stage, carbon dioxide is released and first origin coffee smells like hay or grass (instead of your typical roasted smell).

These types of roasts should never go above about 485°F because they can create a smoky or bitter flavor that will ruin the origin flavors you’ve worked so hard to preserve! First stage roasts are typically done when coffee is meant to be sweet, fruity, or acidic.

-Coffee beans that go through the second stage of the roast will smell like typical roasted coffee and should reach about 538°F (or 300°C). The higher temperature in this case helps develop more caramelized flavors like chocolate or nut.

The temperature should never go above about 490°F because it could burn the beans and create a bitter or burnt taste! Second stage roasts are typically used when coffee is meant to be chocolatey, nutty, toffee-like, sweet, caramelized, fruity, or sweet wine-like in flavor.

Roasting coffee helps to develop origin flavors and determines how dark it will become. This process is the most important part of the roast because it’s what ultimately decides which flavor and aroma note your coffee will have!

Stage 3: Grinding

Most people don’t realize that coffee beans are full of oil and as such, they can go stale really fast. If you want your coffee to taste good then you need to grind the beans right before brewing them!

The process of grinding coffee releases a lot of the oils which gives it a better flavor. It’s worth spending a few extra dollars on a grinder so that you have fresh ground coffee every morning!

Grinding your own coffee allows you to enjoy the freshest possible flavors from different regions around the world

Helps maintain an even distribution of oils inside each bean;

Releases more aroma and flavor when brewed;

Can help reduce waste by allowing you to use only as much as you need at a time.

These four benefits make grinding your own beans well worth it!

When you are grinding coffee, how fine should it be?

This is a common question that arises in the morning when we’re trying to decide what size grind to use. The answer is that there aren’t just one or two sizes of grinds for coffee because different methods and types of coffees require different levels of fineness.

Generally speaking, espresso and ibrik coffee require a very finely ground coffee while filter methods like V60 and Chemex demand a coarser grind.

Step 4: Brewing

Brewing a good cup of coffee is not as simple as it seems. There are many steps and factors that go into making a quality cup of coffee. Here are some general guidelines to make sure you brew the perfect cup every time!

-Coffee beans should be ground just before they’re brewed so it’s freshest when it hits your tongue.

-Always use fresh water for each pot.

-Use filtered water if possible because tap water will have an impact on how flavorful the coffee is.

-Don’t overfill the filter with grinds or else the liquid will overflow into an unpleasant mess in your mug or carafe!

-The best temperature for brewing is between 195°F and 205°F degrees Fahrenheit (91°C). The hotter the water, the less flavor you’re extracting from the grounds.

-Brew your coffee for at least three minutes to allow the full extraction of flavors.

-Don’t be afraid to experiment with quantities and ratios to find out that perfect taste for you!

Last Thoughts

It’s hard to believe that the origins of coffee are in Ethiopia, where it was discovered by goats who were attracted to its caffeinated leaves and berries. But it’s certainly a funny story to share with your friends!

Today we all enjoy a good cup of joe on a regular basis–whether you use your drip brewer or pour-over set up at home, there is no denying how delicious this drink can be. And now you know it’s a journey, from bean to cup!

If you’re looking for more information about brewing methods and other tips on making an excellent pot of java, go ahead check out our recipes and brewing guides! Happy Brewing!

Related Articles